Category Archives: Lisa Marie Patzer

The Year of Sound

Author: Lisa Marie Patzer

Each year, Penn’s Provost office sponsors a series of events around a theme chosen by faculty, staff and students.  The theme for 2013-2014 is the Year of Sound, a topic that can be further explored by nearly every area of academic study.  In conjunction with the yearly theme, a book is chosen for the Penn Reading Project (PRP), an initiative designed to introduce incoming freshmen to academic life at Penn.  Book of Rhymes: The Poetics of Hip Hop by Adam Bradley will be the text for the 2013-14 (PRP).


As a film student and visual artist, I have a keen interest in the pairing of moving image with sound.  As David Lynch said, “Films are 50 percent visual and 50 percent sound. Sometimes sound even overplays the visual.” The influence of sound design in film is perhaps one of the more common examples of how auditory experience impacts our understanding of things.

Less well-known is the use of sound in works by artists and avant-garde composers such as John Cage  (September 5, 1912 – August 12, 1992). Cage wrote music for film and also modern dance performances but his most notable works were those that dealt with chance and sound.  In 1952, Cage composed the piece that became his best-known and most controversial creation: 4′33″.


The score instructs the performer not to play the instrument during the entire duration of the piece—four minutes, thirty-three seconds—and is meant to be perceived as consisting of the sounds of the environment that the listeners hear while it is performed.  Highly controversial at the time of Cage’s original performance, 4′33″ has since become a hallmark of the avant-garde and has been performed worldwide.

The Slought Foundation, located at 4017 Walnut Street, showcases a unique interactive installation by Cage. In 2010, with the help of the John Cage Trust, The Slought Foundation installed  “How to get Started”, featuring a rarely heard performance by the artist.  The visitor listens to a monologue by Cage and is then invited to contribute to the installation by recording their own “realizations”.  This site provides instructions for how to prepare:

1. familiarize yourself with Cage’s realization

2. get out ten index cards and write down ten topics of interest

3. practice extemporizing on each topic, in random order

4. notice that Cage never spoke for more than three minutes on a single topic

5. visit Slought Foundation and schedule a session

The topic of sound can be explored in many interesting ways and I look forward to the programming for this year.  Visit here to find out more about the Year of Sound and how you can get involved.


Leave a comment

Filed under Film, Fine Art, Lisa Marie Patzer, The Arts, The Arts at Penn, Uncategorized

Alumni Weekend 2013 – Getting Social

Author: Lisa Marie Patzer

This Alumni Weekend 2013, we captured lots of social networking chatter and engagement through tweets, photo shares, video views, and “likes” on our various posts. Here’s a little snapshot of what was happening, thanks to our loyal, engaged, and active alumni!


1 Comment

Filed under Alumni Weekend, Lisa Marie Patzer, Social Networking


Author: Lisa Marie Patzer

Tomorrow, April 24th, is Final Toast for the Class of 2013!  Final Toast, started by The Penn Traditions program in 2009, is a celebration for the seniors who are becoming Young Penn Alumni.  Follow @yPennAlumni on Twitter and Penn Alumni on Instagram to see live updates. Contribute your own photos with the hashtag #yPennFinalToast.

For inspiration, here are some photos from Final Toast 2012:

Seniors sporting Final Toast T-Shirts

Seniors sporting Final Toast t-shirts

There will be a lot of dancing.

There will be a lot of dancing.

More dancing and celebrating.

More dancing and celebrating.

Final Toast cups

Final Toast cups

Live music by talented students.

Live music by talented students.

Class of 2012 Tree planting.

Class of 2012 tree. Every year a new tree is dedicated at Final Toast.

Leave a comment

Filed under Campus Life, Lisa Marie Patzer, Traditions, Uncategorized, y-Penn, yPenn

Schmotziger Dienstag (aka Greasy Tuesday)

Author:  Lisa Marie

Today is Fat Tuesday, or what is known in Germany as “Schmotziger Dienstag”.  Fat Tuesday is the last day of Karneval, more popularly known as Mardi Gras, when indulgence in such treats as rich, fatty foods is encouraged.  Growing up in a German Lutheran household, I was very familiar with the practice of “Schmotziger Dienstag” and today I will allow myself a few pleasurable excesses in celebration of this tradition.

Massage at Pottruck: Penn Rec offers professional table and chair massage services 7 days per week at the Pottruck Center, to all members and non-members. Members receive a discounted price on massages that last any where from 30 – 90 minutes.  Having my back massaged by a trained professional is the fastest way for me to relax and find a sense of bliss.


Penn Food Trucks: There are many amazing food trucks on Penn’s campus and today I will buy something sweet AND salty to satisfy my “Schmotziger” cravings.

Food Truck

King Cake : Eat a piece of King Cake and look for the plastic baby.  This cake was generously provided to our office after I bought my sweet and salty lunch.  Oh, well, it’s Fat Tuesday.

King Cake

Walk in the Park: Finally, before I go home for the evening, I will take a walk around Penn Park.  Just look at that sky!

Penn Park

Tomorrow is the start of Lent, a time when German Lutherans deny themselves simple pleasures and abstain from excess.  I may decide to give up eating dessert one meal a day or stop watching mind numbing episodes of Private Practice, but for today, I will enjoy all the benefits I can on this beautiful campus.

Leave a comment

Filed under Campus Life, Lisa Marie Patzer, Penn Park, Uncategorized

Happy New Year from Penn Alumni

Author: Lisa Marie Patzer
Happy New Year

We hope to see you in 2013!

Leave a comment

Filed under Alumni Programming, Lisa Marie Patzer, Uncategorized

#TriviaTuesday from Penn Alumni

Author: Lisa Marie Patzer

Penn Alumni has been posting #TriviaTuesday questions via our Twitter site once a week, every Tuesday, since mid-August. Many of the questions and photos are taken from the University Archives, a collection of digital archives made available through the Penn Libraries. We have had one consistent follower (@MikeyZ2) answer nearly all of the #TriviaTuesday correctly.  I have learned a lot about the University, trying to find interesting questions and researching the answers.

Here are a few of my favorite:





#TriviaTuesNovemberHarper's Weekly

If you have a knack for Trivia, or you just want to learn more about the University, keep an eye out for #TriviaTuesday on the Penn Alumni Twitter feed.  The one for this week was just posted and needs to be answered:

#TriviaTuesday December18

Split Button

1 Comment

Filed under Lisa Marie Patzer, Social Networking


Author: Lisa Marie Patzer

The Penn Alumni communications team recently jumped on the Instagram bandwagon.  We want to capture photos of Penn Alumni events and have a way of sharing fun photos via social outlets.  Here are some of my favorite pics so far:


Penntastic Pumpkin for Homecoming Weekend


“Paint-on sauce” at the 78th Alumni Award of Merit Gala


Pre-game pep rally at Homecoming Weekend


Neo-noir photo by Elise Betz at Engaging Minds, NYC


Provost Price at Engaging Minds, NYC. Nicely framed by the US Savings Bonds window.
Photo by Jason Strohl.

Our next event, the  yPenn Arts & Wine reception at The American Folk Art Museum, is this Thursday, December 6th.  If you want to join the conversation, look for the hashtag #yPenn on Instagram and Twitter!

Leave a comment

Filed under Events, Lisa Marie Patzer, Photos, Social Networking, Uncategorized, y-Penn